What Is Insomnia? Do I Have It?

Do you have insomnia? Insomnia is defined by the difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. This occurs even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia are usually unhappy with the sleep they can get.

Additionally, people with insomnia may experience symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor work performance
  • Changes in mood

People with insomnia can either have difficulty sleeping asleep (known as sleep onset) or troubling staying asleep (referred to as sleep maintenance).

People may also complain about feeling tired upon waking up (not feeling refreshed) or waking up early in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep.

Learn more about the causes of insomnia.

Do I have insomnia?

How long does insomnia last?

When people aren’t wondering what is insomnia, they often think about how long insomnia lasts. There are two types of insomnia: acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. The difference is in how long it lasts.

Acute insomnia appears to “come out of the blue” but it’s actually related to life circumstances. For example, it may be difficulty falling asleep the night before a big presentation at work or it may be difficulty staying asleep the first night in a new house.

Chronic insomnia is insomnia that continues to persist for at least three nights a week over the course of at least three months.

Insomnia Facts

According to the National Institutes of Health approximately 30% of adults complain about poor sleep or sleep disruptions. Of that about 10% have daytime impairment consistent with insomnia.

A 2002 NSF Poll found that:

  • 63 percent of women (versus 54 percent of men) experienced symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week.
  • 68 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 report experiencing symptoms of insomnia
  • 59 percent of adults ages 30 to 64 report symptoms of insomnia
  • Only 44 percent of people over the age of 65 report symptoms of insomnia
  • Parents report more insomnia symptoms than adults without children in the household (66 vs. 54 percent)

Insomnia Therapy Online

Now that we know what insomnia is, it’s important to understand what causes insomnia. Chronic insomnia may be due to unhealthy sleep routines, changes in your shift at work (switching from day shift to night shift) or other changes in one’s environment. Certain medications could also lead to a pattern of insufficient sleep.

Additionally, chronic insomnia may also be linked to conditions such as depression or anxiety. Who wouldn’t experience mood changes if they are chronically struggling from fatigue? Studies show that when the insomnia is treated, symptoms of anxiety and depression disappear! That’s even more reason to try insomnia therapy online.

Wondering what can turn acute insomnia to chronic insomnia? Some cases of insomnia start out with an acute episode but turn into a longer-term problem. Let’s say a person can’t sleep for a night or two after receiving bad news or after working late nights. This person can adopt unhealthy sleep habits such as getting up in the middle of the night to continue to work or drinking alcohol to help “relax”. As a result, a few sleepless nights may lead to chronic insomnia. Once this happens, worry and anxiety kicks in “I’ll never sleep” and each time the person can’t sleep it reinforced this negative belief of “I’ll never sleep”. Identifying and changing these negative sleep thoughts is only one component of insomnia therapy online.

This is why it’s important to address insomnia instead of letting it become the norm. If unhealthy lifestyle and sleep habits are causing insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can help.

If you have tried to change your sleep behaviors and it hasn’t worked, it’s important to take this seriously and talk to a sleep professional about insomnia therapy online. Schedule an insomnia therapy appointment online using the online calendar.

If you are ready to get back to healthy sleep, contact Elika to learn about your treatment options.